Applying to HDFS Graduate Programs

Deadlines

Degree Fall Enrollment Spring Enrollment Summer Enrollment
Ph.D. – all concentrations Dec 1 - Dec 1
M.S. Plan A (research track) in Child Development or Human Development and Family Studies Dec 1 - Dec 1
M.S. Plan B (professional track) in Child Development or Human Development and Family Studies  Feb 1 Oct 1 Feb 1
Online Master’s Degrees and Graduate Certificates June 1 Sept 1 Feb 1

Applying to a graduate program in HDFS is a three-step process: (1) Submit an application to the Graduate School, (2) Submit an application to the Department, and (3) Send transcripts and other materials directly to the Department.

1. Submit a Graduate School Application

  • Complete the MSU application online (preferred) or mail a hard copy
  • On the form, indicate your intended field of study:
    • 7692: Doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies
    • 7693: Youth Program Management and Evaluation-Graduate Certificate
    • 7694: Youth Development Specialist-Graduate Certificate
    • 7645: Youth Development-MA
    • 7722: Family Community Services-MA
    • 7691: Human Development and Family Studies-MS
    • 7702: Child Development-MS

2. Submit a Department Application

  • Complete the Department Application Form which includes your academic statement and your personal statement.
  • Ph.D. and Master’s Plan A (research track) applicants must clearly indicate the faculty member(s) from whom they wish to receive research mentorship.
  • Ph.D. applicants must clearly indicate the desired concentration area of study (i.e., Child Development, Couple and Family Therapy, or Lifespan Human Development and Family Diversity)

3. Submit Additional Required Materials

  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae that includes the following:
    • Employment history
    • Education, degrees
    • Honors and leadership
    • Student organizations, professional organizations, and honor societies
    • Honors, special awards, research and other creative work
    • Other material related to your professional background and experience
  • References
    • Your list of recommenders will be sent an email from the University that provides them instructions on how to upload their reference letter into your portal. Ask them to complete the form and write a letter assessing your ability to successfully complete the graduate program. Family members and friends are not appropriate recommenders. Please ask former professors, work supervisors, or others who can best assess your academic experience and potential.
  • Test Scores
    • The three-part Graduate Record Examination (GRE) “General Test” scores taken within the last 5 years must be submitted if you are applying: (1) to the Ph.D. program, (2) to the Master’s Plan A (research track) program, or (3) as an international student. You do not need to submit GRE scores if you are a U.S. resident applying to the Master’s Plan B (professional track) program. International applicants must submit GRE scores for the Plan A and Plan B Master’s Program. Send the GRE scores directly to the University. The code for Michigan State University is 1465.
    • Applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) taken within the last 2 years. The code for Michigan State University is 1465.
  • Transcripts
    • Request one official transcript from each college or university you have attended and have them mailed directly to the Department.

Send the Department application form, personal and academic statements, resume/curriculum vitae and transcripts by e-mail to tobee@hdfs.msu.edu(preferred) or print and mail a hard copy of all to:

Graduate Secretary
Michigan State University
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Room 7E, Human Ecology Building
552 West Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824-1030

For questions or additional information, please contact the Erica Tobe at: tobee@hdfs.msu.edu or (517) 884-0043.

Early Childhood Education-General and Special Education Endorsement (ZS)

While the Early Childhood Education-General and Special Education Endorsement (ZS) is not a graduate degree program, it is a post-baccalaureate program that often leads to a graduate degree. As part of the Department’s mission to support continuing education for students, we offer the Early Childhood Education-General and Special Education Endorsement for returning teachers. ZS students do not complete a graduate degree application, but would complete the ZS application. The ZS advisor is Laurie Linscott and she can be reached at linscott@msu.edu or 517-355-1900.